Ref: PR -2017-04-009
Jumhooree Party condemns the sudden arrest of the Party’s Leader MP Hon. Qasim Ibrahim
Jumhoree Party strongly condemns the sudden arrest of the Party’s Leader and Member of Parliament Hon. Qasim Ibrahim from his home by the Maldives Police Service in the early hours of Friday, the 21st of April 2017. The Police initially denied him the right to a lawyer in violation of Articles 48 and 53 of the Maldivian Constitution.
Hon. Qasim Ibrahim was also arrested on 6th April 2017 and released on 12th April, after the High Court ordered his immediate release on finding that the arrest warrant and order to remand him in jail for 6 days was in contravention of the Powers and Immunities of Parliament Members Act. Immediately after his release, he was summoned to Criminal Court to initiate the trials of three cases against him which were filed by the Prosecutor General based on evidence gathered during his unlawful arrest.
Despite being charged for bribery, influencing the official conduct of a public official and intimidating and improperly influencing a voter, Hon. Qasim Ibrahim’s home and offices were raided and his mobile phone was confiscated by the Police on 16th April 2017, on the allegation that Hon. Qasim Ibrahim had hidden materials related to bribery, attempting to create hostility among the members of security forces, attempting to destroy peace and public order of the country, and attempting to overthrow the government. The Police later declared that they did not find anything of relevance with regard to the allegations made against him.
Hon. Qasim Ibrahim’s unlawful arrest and random searches of his properties are clearly politically motivated. The most recent arrest in the middle of the night and denying him his constitutional right to a lawyer is an act of political harassment. Jumhooree Party calls on the Government to stop the persecution of opposition leaders and allow them the right to conduct peaceful and lawful political activity.
21 April 2017